June 24-30, 2024

Employee Appreciation Day at the PPA Tour

Author: Andrew Gilman | March 5, 2024

There aren’t too many offices out there that have a pickleball court open for its employees to grab a quick game.

Then again, there aren’t too many places quite like working for the PPA Tour.

“I think the word has gotten around to others in the building,” said Human Resources Manager Kate Young, “because I’ve had people on the elevator ask me, ‘Is this the floor that has the pickleball court?’”

It is, and there’s always a game going on. This week, it was Employee Appreciation Day, and at the PPA Tour office in Dallas, there are a lot of ways the folks who work at the PPA Tour get to enjoy their jobs.

“We have an open office plan,” said Young of the PPA’s setup in its home in Dallas. “It helps enhance collaboration, communication, and a more vibrant work environment. We have the entire floor to ourselves, and if you ever come to the office, you’ll frequently hear people say, ‘Let’s take a lap.’ This means, getting up from your desk, giving your eyes a break from the computer screen, and walking around the office.”

Come on, let’s take a lap together.

At the PPA’s office, in addition to the pickleball court, where employees play a game, they get to see a cool display of paddles outfitted by the tour’s sponsors like Selkirk, Franklin, and Vulcan. There are plenty of paddles to choose from, so it’s easy enough to hit it around. 

There’s a great kitchenette, and of course, it’s full of snacks and drinks. There’s a coffee and a hot chocolate bar, lots of different teas to try out, and there’s a Nespresso machine, which is popular, too, and a natural spot for office talk in the morning.

“My office used to be right next to the snacks, and I found myself getting one at least once an hour,” Young said. “Thankfully, I moved offices,” she said with a smile.

This year, for Employee Appreciation Day, there was a disco-themed party, celebrating the recent PPA-Major League Pickleball merger, and everyone dressed up and danced to Abba.

There have been cookie decorating contests, an Ugly Sweater competition, crafts, and pizza. The staff even went to Chicken N Pickle for some team building.

Of course, it’s not all parties, all the time. There are about 45 employees who work in the office, but it clears out a bit when there’s a PPA Tournament, like there is this week in Minnesota, so it becomes a bit more quiet.

“There is a group that never travels,” Young said. “We stick together when everyone is gone. Sometimes we’ll go into the conference room and work while we’re streaming PickleballTV.”

But it’s the weeks when tournaments aren’t happening that are the best, Young said. 

“I love the vibe of the office, and everyone I work with,” she said. “When people ask what I like about (my job), I always tell them this story:

“I was on vacation, and I got back to Dallas really late on a Monday night. I thought about working from home on Tuesday, just to have a day to regroup. I woke up on Tuesday morning and all I wanted to do was to go into the office and see everyone. I had missed them so much.”

Indoor Pickleball Court at the PPA Tour’s Headquarters

That kind of atmosphere makes the PPA a fun place to work. 

“We all want to support each other and help grow pickleball,” Young said. “It’s such an honor to work somewhere I truly feel at home.”

And having snacks and a court at work isn’t too bad, either!

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